Ousmane Dembele was a surprise omission from FC Barcelona's squad list for the match against Levante at the weekend. Originally it was suggested that Ernesto Valverde simply didn't chose the French forward but, according to 'L'Equipe', there was a valid reason for Ousmane missing out. They claimed Dembele missed out due to hamstring issue. 'Catalunya Radio' went even further and said he wouldn't be available for Slavia Prague.
Yet Valverde, who is the only one to speak on the matter, included Dembele in his squad for Slavia. This suggests he's fit and available for the Champions League contest. With Suarez out for at least another couple of weeks, it presents Dembele with the chance to form an attacking trident alongside Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi.
The final word belongs to Valverde but if the player is named in the XI, it would suggest any injury concerns were exaggerated. Of course, until the team is revealed, it won't stop the speculation.
ALBA BRINGS MORE BALANCE TO THE TEAM
Jordi Alba's return to the team allows Nelson Semedo to move back to the right of defence. Sergi Roberto is now free to occupy a place in midfield and will battle Arturo Vidal for that spot alongside Frenkie de Jong and Sergio Busquets.
UMTITI AND ALEÑÁ RETURN
The French centre back has finally been given the green light to return and makes the list. Carles Aleña is also a welcome sight on the initial list but both he and Umtiti are expected to be on the bench.
ARTHUR REMAINS OUT
Valverde demanded more from Arthur in the attacking phase of play in the build up to Barça's match with Valladolid. It comes as no surprise then to see the coach drop the Brazilian from the squad for this game. He hasn't been happy with Arthur and believes he's capable of offering so much more. Arthur was also one of the players singled out for criticism in the self-destruction against Levante. It's up to the Brazilian to prove he's the man Valverde can depend on going forward.